It was about 15 years ago when I learned that I’m orangegreen colorblind. Prior to that time, I had automatically assumed my color deficiencies were with mixes of red or green as is often the case, so I never asked to clarify. Nonetheless, though this has created interesting choices in my clothing in the past, I know that personally, colorblindness is a misnomer. I do not always interchange orange and green. I do at times however see their intensity a bit muted.
Mind you, I’m not complaining. I so appreciate the beauty of God’s creation found in the fall colors of maple leaves, rainbows and hues created or applied to canvas by artists among us. I am reminded of the Lord’s infinite love whenever I notice my wife’s blue eyes or the blue shades of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society.
I’m further inspired and moved when our liturgical colors transition throughout the year. We wear green during ordinary time, red on feasts of the Holy Spirit and celebrations of the Lord’s passion. Violet is worn twice a year during Lent and Advent where preparation, penance and renewal are the themes. White is a festive color representing light, joy and glory. Today, we await the white of Christmas.
Used only twice a year, rose comes in the midst of our violet seasons. Gaudete Sunday is one of these days. Gaudete, Latin for rejoice, aptly qualifies this third Sunday of Advent as we delight in the nearness of Jesus’ birth, present, and return. We pause for a time from our preparation and consider how far our journey has taken us during the past three weeks. We pray that our pathway toward holiness has also grown. You might say that we are reflecting on our own spiritual transition represented metaphorically from violet through different shades of rose on our way to white.
The depth and mix of our spiritual colors are as individual as we are. Some of us find that our preparation ‘rose’ shows more blue than red or white while for others the opposite is true. Both are perfect in God’s time for our spiritual pathway is not measured against others. Rather, our hope is to persistently and patiently become a slightly better version of ourselves accepting and recognizing the little steps along the way as grace. Saint James invites us this way: “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient.” May you find the same patience in your own transition to white as together we continue our preparation and reflection toward the wonder of Christmas.
Deacon Luc Papillon